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« questionable, that Apollonius Tyanæus, shortly after the publication of the gospel to the world, • was a person made choice of by the policy, and assisted by the powers of the kingdom of dark
ness, for the doing some things extraordinary, merely out of design to derogate from the mira·cles of our Saviour Jesus Christ, and to enable paganism the better to bear up against the at• tacks of Christianity.'
So Cudworth: and I suppose that many learned men of late times may have expressed themselves in a like manner; but I cannot assent to them. With due submissiòn, I do not think, that Apollonius was a man of so great importance as is here supposed: for it does not appear, that any adversaries of the Christians, either Celsus or Porphyry, or any other, before Hierocles, at the beginning of the fourth century, under Dioclesian's persecution, ever took any notice of him in any of their arguments. Nor do I know, that he has been once mentioned by any Christian writers of the first two centuries.
When I first met with the observation of Cudworth I was very much surprised, considering the silence of all early antiquity. If this observation were right, Í should have expected to find frequent mention of Apollonius in the history of St. John, and the other apostles of Christ; but there is none. We had in that space of time divers learned men, some of them as eminent for extensive literature as any men that ever lived : as Justin, Tatian, Bardesanes the Syrian, Clement of Alexandria, Irenæus, Julius Africanus, Tertullian, Minucius Felix : not to insist upon
Clement of Rome, Ignatius, or Polycarp, or the histories of them. Of all these we have some remains : they lived in the two first centuries, or at the beginning of the third; but of Apollonius they have not taken any the least notice.
The first Christian writer who has mentioned him, so far as I can recollect, is Origen in his books against Celsus, written not long before the middle of the third century. Where he says: "He who would know, whether magic has any power over philosophers, may read the • memoirs of Mæragenes, concerning Apollonius of Tyana, both a magician and a philosopher. • In which, Mæragenes, who was not a Christian, but a philosopher, says, that some, and no • inconsiderable philosophers, were taken by the magical art of Apollonius, and came to him as * to a magician. [youll.] Among them, I suppose, he means Euphrates, and a certain Epicu. rean.
But we can affirm, upon the ground of our own experience, that they who worship the • God over all through Jesus Christ, and live according to the gospel, and pray as they ought to • do day and night, have no reason to fear any thing froin magic or dæmons.' So Origen is led to speak in answer to some things in Celsus : but it does not appear, that Celsus had at all mentioned either Apollonius, or his historian.
Apollonius is mentioned by Lucian; but what he says of him is far from being to his advantage. He is also mentioned by Apuleius," who was contemporary with Lucian: nor is there any older author now extant where he is mentioned; which must be reckoned an argument of his great obscurity, till he was set up by Philostratus.
After that time Apollonius is taken notice of by many; as Arnobius,' and Lactantius, and Eusebius, who were led to observe upon Hierocles, whose whole book against the Christians was founded upon the memoirs of Philostratus. He is afterwards mentioned by Augustine, and other Christian writers : and he is mentioned several times by the writers of the Augustan History, who flourished in the time of Dioclesian, or soon afterwards, and by Dion Cassius, and by Eunapius,' who commends the history of Philostratus, but says, that instead of entitling it “the Life of Apollonius,' he might have called it the • Peregrination of a God among men.'
I must stay here to add, that we have a kind of positive evidence, that Celsus took no notice of Apollonius, though he did speak of several others of a like character. There were miracles * wrought every where, or however in many places, says Origen. Celsus himself presently
· Contr. Cels. I. vi. sect. 41. p. 302.
' Arnob. I. i. p. 31. μαθε και φιλοσοφε. Ιbid.
8 Vid. Lamprid. Alex. Sever. cap. 29. p. 930. Vopisc. de Lucian. Pseudem, p. 750. T. i. Gr. Vid. et ejusd. De- Aurelian. cap. 24. p. 475. monax. p. 866.
" Dion, in Domitian. I. vi. p. 1116. Reimar. Et in Cara. • Vid. Apul. Apol p 544. in Usum Delph. Et Conf. calla. 1. 77. p. 1304. Olearii Præf. in Philostr. p. 33.
i Αλλα το μεν ες τελον ο Λημνιος επίλελεσε Φιλοσραθος, βιον • Ante Lucianum vix reperies, qui ejus meminerit. Eru- επιδραψας Απολλωνιά τα βιβλια, δεον επιδημιαν ες ανθρωπος ditiss. certe Philostrati enarrator Lucianum cum Apuleio E8 XXnEY. Eunap. Pr. p. 11. coætaneo primos facit. Præf. p. 33. Solon. annot. ad Lucian. k Contr. Cels. 1. üi. num. 3. p. 113. Et Conf. num. 26. Pseud. p. 213. T. ii. Amst. 1743.
* afterwards instanceth in Æsculapius, who performed cures, and delivered out oracles in all • cities consecrated to him, Epidaurus, Cöus, Pergamus; and Aristæus of Proconnesus, and • Clazomenius and Cleomedes. But among the Jews, who esteemed themselves consecrated to • the God of the universe, there was, it seems, no miracle, no prodigy, to establish their faith * in the creator of all things. For certain, Apollonius was not mentioned by Celsus here: probably therefore he was not brought in by him any where.
The silence of Celsus about Apollonius must be reckoned good proof, that in the middle of the second century Apollonius was not a man of much consideration among the heathen people.
VI. Since therefore Apollonius is very much, if not entirely indebted to the memoirs of Philostratus, for his great reputation in the world, it is very fit that we should consider that work distinctly.
propose then to consider these several things. 1. The time and occasion of writing it. 2. Its veracity, or credibility. 3. Its importance. 1. The time and occasion of it.
Ito was composed about the year of Christ 210, at the desire of the empress Julia, wife of Septimius Severus. Says Philostratus himself, in the third chapter of his first book : There * was one Damis, a man not unskilful in philosophy, a native of the ancient Nineveh. He was • much conversant with Apollonius, and attended him in his travels, and wrote down his sen• timents, and sayings, and divinations. A friend of Damis brought his memoirs, hitherto un• known to the empress Julia. She was herself a friend to literature, and as I was in her fa* mily, she commanded me to digest these materials into proper order. I also met with the • book of Maximus of Ægis, which contained an account of what happened to Apollonius at • Ægis. There is also extant the last will and testament of Apollonius, whence it may be • learned, that he philosophized under a divine impulse. Mæragenes composed four books con• cerning Apollonius; but no regard is to be had to him, forasmuch as he was ignorant of many
things relating to him. Thus I have shewn whence these collections were made, and how I • have digested them : and I cannot but wish, that this work of mine may be honourable to him
of whom I write, and useful to such as are lovers of good letters : for, certainly, they may • hence learn things which they knew not before.'
That may suffice for shewing the time and occasion of this work of Philostratus, The Life of Apollonius.
2. Hence we may be able to judge of the truth or credibility of what is here related. It must be all uncertain, and deserving of very little credit. Philostratus's principal author Damis, is an obscure person ; his memoirs were unknown till brought to the empress Julia; his friend who is said to have brought them to her is not named. Though Mæragenes had published four books concerning Apollonius, Philostratus determined to pay no regard to them; very probably, because they were not favourable to his hero : and he concludes with saying, · That the curious
may hence learn what they knew nothing of before. But how can things be received, which were not known till more than an hundred years after the death of the person spoken of.
That Philostratus's history is not written with impartiality, and that he forbore to insert things not favourable to Apollonius, is manifest upon divers occasions. According to Phi
a See Tillemont. L'Emp. Sever, art. 37. and Apollone de Sed quis rustico labori exornando præficitur ? Philostratus, Tyanes, &c. Hist. des Emp. Toni. ii. P. i. p. 200. &c. Brux. rhetor, ex eorum nimirum ordine, quibus omnia fucata et
* Quidquid igitur de iis fertur, id deploratæ hujus hominis simulata erant. Egregie sane! Moshem. Diss. de existimatione fidei innititur: Hæc vero sunt, quæ de illis habet. Damidis Apollonii Tyanæi sect. i8. apud ejusdem Commentationes et querndam familiarem in lucem eos primum protraxisse, ac Orationes varii argumenti. Hamburg. 1751. 810. Juliæ Augustæ ob! ulisse. Hanc, cum artis dicendi studiosa Alius certe dixerit, quis qualisve, ater, an albus fuerit esset, sibi id laboris imperâsse, ut, quæ agresti et inconditâ (Apollonius.] Mihi, omnibus solicite ponderatis, collatisque oratione Damis prodiderat, expoliret, et meliori ordine dige- pro quâvis sententiâ argumentis, id unum perspicuum esse reret. Fecisse id opere, quod De Vitâ Apollonii hodie adhuc fateor, talem, quem Philostratus fingit, non fuisse. Id. ib. tenemus, Ex his statim intelligitur, cum ante Severi tempora sect. 1. volumen hoc nulli visum fuerit, nullam etiam Apollonio parere Si Meraginis de vitâ ejus narratio extaret, quanti apud existimationem potuisse. Deinceps vero actum esse de omni multos vivus fuisset habitus, curatius enarrari posset. Periit ejus auctoritate ex hac ipsâ narratione constat. Quis Damidem ea, quam Origenes suo adhuc tempore legit, eorum sine dubio, illud consignâsse auctor est? Obscurus quidam homo, cujus qui famæ hominis consultum cupiebant, studio -Unicus nomen nescit, tacel Philostratus, qui Damidi tamen sese fami- igitur nobis hodie Philostratus restat, ex quo quæ ad vitam liarem gloriabatur. Quis præter hunc? Nullus plane. ejus pertinent, haurienda sunt. Id. ib. sect. 2.
lostratus, Vespasian met with Apollonius, Euphrates, and other philosophers, at Alexandria, in his
way to Rome, after he had been proclaimed emperor. At* his desire Apollonius gave him good advice for the right management of himself in his high station. Vespasian then asked the advice of Euphrates also : • Who declared his assent to what had been already said by Apol• lonius. Nevertheless,' says he, • O emperor, I may add this : Approve and cherish the .
philosophy which is agreeable to nature; and avoid that which boasts of commerce with the • deity.' Which, as Philostratus says, was designed against Apollonius, and was the result
When Vespasian was gone from Egypt, Apollonius and Euphrates quarrelled more openly. • But,' says Philostratus, I must dismiss that affair ; it is not my design to blame Euphrates, • but to write the life of Apollonius, for the sake of those who are as yet unacquainted with it.'
Euphrates is several times mentioned by Philostratus : but it has been observed by learned men, that Euphrates has a good character from the younger Pliny, and from Epictetus, ` who have never mentioned Apollonius, and from Eunapius.' EusebiusS has made good remarks upon the differences between Apollonius and Euphrates; and fails not to observe, that Euphrates was in his time a very celebrated philosopher, and was still in great esteem.
3. From what has been already said, we may be able to judge of the importance of this work. A history that is false or uncertain, and not to be depended upon, cannot be of much value. Nevertheless, we must bestow some observations upon this point, out of deference to the opinions of some learned moderns.
Dr. Cudworth, as before cited, goes on at p. 268 : For among the many writers of this philosopher's life, some, and particularly Philostratus, seem to have had no other aim in their undertaking, than only to dress up Apollonius in such a garb and manner, as might make him • best seem to be a fit corrival with our Saviour Jesus Christ, both in respect of sanctity and • miracles.-And it is well known that Hierocles, to whom Eusebius gives the character of a
very learned man, wrote a book against the Christians, the chief design of which was to compare this Apollonius Tyanæus with, and to prefer him before our Saviour : and that this was • the use, commonly made by the pagans of this history of Philostratus, appears sundry ways. • Marcellinus, in an epistle of his to St. Augustine, declares this as the grand objection of the * pagans against Christianity, and therefore he desires St. Augustine to answer the same : Nihil“ • aliud Dominum, quam alii homines facere potuerunt, fecisse mentiuntur. Apollonium siquidem • suum nobis, et Apuleium, aliosque magicæ artis homines in medium proferunt, quorum majora ' contendunt exstitisse miracula.' So Cudworth, and in like manner many other learned men.
But whereas Cudworth supposeth, that among the many writers of this philosopher's life, • some,' beside Philostratus, · wrote with that view;' it is said without ground. There were not many writers of this man's life; nor are any of thein come down to us: Hierocles, in his comparison of our Saviour with Apollonius, made use of Philostratus only.
The question is, whether Philostratus designed to set up Apollonius as a corrival with our • Saviour: it has been the opinion of Cudworth, and of divers' other learned men of late times : nevertheless I do not think that to be clear. My late learned friend Mr. Michael de la Roche used to say, “that Philostratus said nothing more in the Life of Apollonius, than he would have • said if there had been no Christians in the world.' Whether he any where published this his opinion in any of his Literary Memoirs I cannot say:* bùt I had this thought from him in our correspondence together. At first it appeared strange to me; but upon farther consideration,
a De Vit. Apol. 1. v. cap. 36.
trinam et discipulos invalescere in dies, non sine invidia, videbant, opponerent. Cleric. ib. Ann. 85. n. i. et ii.
φιλοσοφιαν δε, ω βασιλευ, (Τaλι γαρ λοιπον προσειρησεται) την μεν καλα φυσιν επαινει και ασπαζε την δε θεοκλύσεις φασκεσαν σαραιλε. κ. λ. Cap. 37. • Cap. 39.
4 Plin. Ep. 1. i. x. © Arian. Epict. I. iv. c. 8.
Ap. Augustin. ep. 136. [al. iv.] Tom. ji. edit. Bened.
Videtur nobis quoque, ut viris doctissimis visum est, fabula hæc esse a Philostrato centum post annis, eâ de causâ conscripta, ut haberent Ethnici, quem Jesu Christo, cujus doc
1 Since writing what is above, (and indeed a good while since,) I have accidently observed this paragraph in Mr. La Roche's New Memoirs of Literature. Vol. i art. xiii. p. 99. • It is commonly believed, that Philostratus wrote the Life of
Apollonius, to draw up a parallel between his miracles and 'those of Jesus Christ. I read that author long ago, that I 'might be able to judge whether that opinion was well 'grounded. But, after reading of Philostratus, I was fully • persuaded, that he never designed to draw up such a parallel. • It is no difficult thing to prove it, and to shew what gave 'occasion to the mistake just now mentioned.' That is the whole of what he says.
and upon reading Philostratus again, I have embraced the same opinion, and am now confirmed in it. Hierocles made use of the work of Philostratus in forming his comparison of Christ and Apollonius; and many heathen people afterwards were willing enough to set up Apollonius against our Saviour: but it does not clearly appear that Philostratus had any such thing in view.
Huet specifies several ends and views which Philostratus might have in composing that work. He* allows, • that it has no foundation in truth: his chief design in writing was to please Julia · and Caracalla. Julia was a lady of a philosophical temper of mind : she was desirous to know * the history of the ancient philosophers, and particularly of Apollonius; and for that end she • furnished Philostratus with the memoirs of Damis. In pursuit of this design he also gratified • his own vanity, and laid hold of every opportunity for shewing his learning, making digressions • concerning a great variety of subjects not at all appertaining to the history of Apollonius. He • also aimed,' Huet says, and thinks that to have been his principal design, to obstruct the progress of the Christian religion, by drawing the character of a man of great knowledge, sanctity, and miraculous power. Therefore he formed Apollonius after the example of Christ, and • accommodated many things in the history of our Lord to Apollonius.'
The several views and ends first mentioned are very conspicuous in this work : but I cannot clearly discern the last : and I shall assign my reasons. Philostratus was a Pythagorean, or however assumed that character upon this occasion ; and he designed to extol Apollonius, and recommended him to esteem, as a wonderful man and a follower of Pythagoras. Philostratus, as other writers generally do, declares his design at the beginning of his work, and to this purpose: • They who admire Pythagoras of Samos say of him, that he wore no clothing taken . from animals, and that he forbore the use of animals in food and sacrifice, offering up only *cakes with honey, and frankincense and hymns. And they say that he conversed with the * gods, and from themselves knew what things were most acceptable to them, and what were
displeasing. And many other things are said of him by those who philosophize after the insti'tution of Pythagoras; which I must forbear to relate, as I must hasten to the history which I « have undertaken.'
• For Apollonius, who lived not very long ago, nor yet very lately, attempted the like * things in a more perfect manner than Pythagoras.'
Huet" has in one place expressed himself after the same manner that I have done, upon a view of this work of Philostratus : his words, which I have placed below, are very remarkable.
And Eunapius, who was as likely to understand the design of Philostratus as any modern, speaks also to the same purpose. In the preface to his work, speaking of such as had written the lives of sophists and philosophers : * And“ Apollonius of Tyana,' says he, 'was a phi. • losopher indeed, but more than a philosopher, being somewhat between the gods and man: • for following the philosophy of Pythagoras, he raised the reputation of it as truly divine and • excellent. Philostratus of Lemnus has written his history in several books, calling his work,
* Nullis ergo ac solidis incumbit fundamentis tota hæc Phi- b De Vit. Apoll. 1. i. cap. 1. lostrati moles, sed caduca, et in ruinam prona est: cujus ad Αδελφα γαρ τείοις επίτηδευσανία Απολλωνιον, και θειοθερον speciem exstruendæ causar hanc habuit præcipuam, ut Juliæ nó lufalopas Tu Copiqe te sporengovia, x. a. Cap. 1. et Caracallæ gratificaretur.—Juliam vero philosophiæ dedi- 4 Mihi vero rem introspicienti Pythagoricæ philosophiæ petam fuisse memorant idem Dio et Philostratus, sopbistarumque, nitus videtur addictus fuisse Philostratus. Ex qua disciplina rhetorum ac geometrarum choro plerumque stipata erat.- quicumque prodierunt, quod jam supra monui, in fauuatorias Quamobrem et de priscorum philosophorum moribus ac studiis et wapade confias fuerunt pronissimi, nihil non et fingere edoceri se volebat, atque hanc Apollonii potissimum historiam promti et credere. Testis aureum Pythagoræ femur, testis a Philostrato tradi literis optavit, eique Damidis commentarios et Abaridis sagitta, et quæcumque de Epimenide, et Empesuppeditavit Altera Philostrato accessit causa concinnandi docle, aliisque ex Italicâ schola profectis memorantur. Vel hujus operis, vana nimirum collectæ per otium eruditionis primum legatur Philostrati caput, ex quo, velut ex ungue expromendæ ac ostentandæ cupiditas. Quorsum enim am. leonem, hominis propensum in Pythagoræ deliramenta animum bitiosi illi excursus, et importunæ dissertationes, de rebus ad et superstitiosam credulitatem deprehendas. Huet. ib. n. v. Apollonium haudquaquam pertinentibus; de Pantheris Armeniis, de elephantis, de mantichorâ, de gryphibus, pygmæis, * Απολλωνιος τε ο εκ Τυανων, εκει φιλοσοφος, αλλ' ην τι &c. &c. Id præterea spectâsse se in priinis videtur Phi- θεων τε και ανθρωπο μεσον. Την γαρ Πυθαιορειον φιλοσοφιαν lostratus, ut invalescentem jam Christi fidem ac doctrinam ζηλωσας, πολυ τε θειοθερον και ενερίοτερον κατ' αυτην επεδειξατο. deprimeret, opposito hoc omnis doctrinæ sanctitatis, ac miri- Αλλα το μεν ες τελον ο Λημνιος επελελεσε Φιλοσσαίος βιον ice virtutis faneo simulacro. Ιtaque ad Christi exemplar • επιδραψας Απολλωνια τα βιβλια, δεον επιδημιαν ες ανθρωπος hanc expressit effigiem, et pleraque ex Christi Jesu historia €8 xaneiv. Eunap. Pr. p. 11. Apollonio accommodavit, ne quid Ethnici Christianis invidere possent. Huet. Dem. Ev. Prop. 9. cap. 147. sect. 3. p. 661.
• The Life of Apollonius; which might have been more properly entitled, The Peregrination of • God among men.'
Apollonius is drawn by Philostratus in resemblance of Pythagoras, not of Jesus Christ. • When he was sixteen years of age, he determined to follow the institution of Pythagoras, higher powers instigating him thereto. From that time he forbore the food of animals, and
wore linen garments, not admitting such as were made of wool taken from animals, and • wore long hair.' How strictly he professed to observe the Pythagorean discipline, every where, and in all things, may be seen 1. i. cap. 32, if Damis
i. cap. 32, if Damis may be relied upon. Pythagoras was a great traveller : according to Philostratus, Apollonius visited many parts of the then known world, Europe, Asia, and Africa. He also observed the Pythagorean five years' silence, notwithstanding the great difficulty with which it was attended. A plague broke out at Ephesus; Apollonius was at Smyrna; the Ephesians sent to Apollonius to come to them, expecting help from him. He said to those about him, Let us not delay the journey. And he was at • Ephesus: therein imitating, as I think,' says Philostratus, · Pythagoras, who was at the same time with the Thurians and at Metapontus. Porphyry's account in his life of Pythagoras is to this purpose : • Thats in one and the same day Pythagoras was at Metapontus in Italy, and at • Tauromenum in Sicily, and conversed with his friends in both places. Almost all agree in • asserting this. Διαβεβαιεναι σχεδον απανίες. Another like story is afterwards told of Apollonius by Philostratus.
It is manifest therefore, that Philostratus compared Apollonius and Pythagoras; but I do not see, that he endeavoured to make him a rival with Jesus Christ. Philostratus has never once mentioned our Saviour, or the Christians his followers, neither in this long work, nor in the Lives of the Sophists, if it be his, as several' learned men of the best judgment suppose: nor is there any hint, that Apollonius any where in his wide travels met with any followers of Jesus. There is not so much as an obscure or general description of any men met with by him, whom any can suspect to be Christians of any denomination, either catholics or heretics. Whereas I think, that if Philostratus had written with a mind averse to Jesus Christ, he would have laid hold of some occasion to describe and disparage his followers, as enemies to the gods, and contemners of their mysteries and solemnities, and different from all other men.
Nor is there any resemblance between Jesus ,and Apollonius. Apollonius travelled from Spain to the Indies, a Gadibus ad Gangem. Our Lord never travelled abroad: he never was out of the small tract of the land of Israel
, excepting when he was carried into Egypt to avoid the design of Herod upon his life: and he ate and drank and dressed like other men, without any affectation of austerities like those of the Pythagoreans. Nor was John the Baptist, the forerunner of Jesus, like them: there was somewhat austere in his character, but he likewise ate animal food, and wore animal clothing. “ He had his raiment of camel's hair, and a leathern girdle about his loins: and his meat was locusts and wild honey.” Matt. iii. 1. Nor has Phi. lostratus told any such wonderful works of Apollonius, as should make out any tolerable resemblance between Jesus and him in that respect. Huet is the
person who has taken the most pains to shew this. He: affirms, that Philostratus transferred many things from the history of Christ into his life of Apollonius : and he has alleged a great number of particulars; but to me they appear so slight, and so inadequate to the purpose, as to deserve little regard.
For instance, of our Lord it is said, Luke ii. 52, “ that he increased in wisdom and stature, and in favour with God and men.” • And Philostratus says, that Apollonius in early life, as he grew up, gave proof of great ingenuity, and a strong memory, and was much taken notice of.'
But, first of all, what is there extraordinary in this ? Has not the like been said of innu.
^ De Vit. Ap. I. i. c. 7, 8. p. 9, 10.
& Ex historiâ Christi pleraque in suam Apollonii vitam L. i. cap. 14. p. 16.
transtulit. Huet. ib. «Ο δε θκ ωείο δειν αναβαλλεσθαι την οδον· αλλ' ειπων ιωμεν, h Quod de Christo scriptum legisset Philostratus. • Et ην εν Εφεσο, το Πυθαδορο, οιμαι, εκεινο αρατίων, το εν Θεριoις Jesus prosciebat sapientia et state-idcirco scripsit Apolομο και Μεταποντιοις ειναι. 1. iv. c. 10. p. 147.
lonium procedentibus annis egregia ingenii et memoriæ dedisse • De Vit. Pyth. num. 27. p. 34. al.
specimina, et formæ elegantia omnium in se oculos convertisse. · De Vit. Ap. I. viii. c. 10-12.
Ib. num. iv. p. 661.